During this season, Hamilton East Public Library is celebrating the Season of Gratitude, an initiative focused on gratitude activities for all ages from November 15 through January 15.
Gratitude is defined as a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. A selection of gratitude activities focusing on self, family/friends, and our community can be completed at your own pace—do as few or as many as you wish!
To make it even more fun to focus on the positive things in your life, all participants who have earned a badge will be entered into a final drawing for prize bundles reflective of the theme of gratitude. Register and check out the HEPL Beanstack page for family, community, and self gratitude activities. Don’t forget to check HEPL’s calendar events for related programs.
Here are some of the benefits you may gain from participating in HEPL’s Season of Gratitude:
1. Improved mental health and self-esteem
Experts say that gratitude disconnects us from toxic, negative emotions, and the ruminating that often accompanies them. Chief Happiness Officer Sarah Ratekin says that spending just a few minutes every day jotting down a few things you’re grateful for can increase your overall positivity and self-esteem, help you sleep better, make you happier and have greater life satisfaction, and reduce stress — something we can all benefit from! Be sure to check out the HEPL’s free virtual gratitude workshops presented by Sarah Ratekin!
2. Strengthened relationships
Researchers say relationships are boosted by the “find, remind, and bind” function of gratitude. If we acknowledge the thoughtfulness of others, this gratitude “finds” or identifies people who are good candidates for quality future relationships; it also helps “remind” us of the worth of our existing relationships, and it “binds” us to those close to us and continually encouraging us to engage in behaviors that will help prolong those relationships.
3. Improved physical health
One study reported that cardiac patients who were grateful had “better sleep, less fatigue, and lower levels of cellular inflammation,” and another study of heart failure patients who practiced gratitude journaling for eight weeks had reduced signs of inflammation afterward.
4. Reduced Stress
Scientists have found that focusing on feelings of contentment and satisfaction naturally counters stress and leaves you feeling much more grounded and able to deal with whatever life throws at you. Who doesn’t want less stress?!
5. Enhanced Empathy
Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kind, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, so HEPL hopes that you’ll take a few moments this season to join us in practicing some “gratitude attitude”! Learn more about HEPL on their website.
Danielle Acton is the Adult Engagement Coordinator at Hamilton East Public Library. She has lived near the Saxony District for 13 years. She enjoys hikes at Flat Fork Creek Park and exploring different parks, as well as shopping at the Fishers Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. She also enjoys hobby board games, cats, Star Wars, and baking. Her favorite thing about Fishers (besides the library!) is the diversity of the community.